World Bank review raises tough issue of resource curse

In the World Bank's Extractive Industries Review (EIR), the oil and gas industry has something to regret more than the recommendation that the bank quit funding oil projects (OGJ, Feb. 16, 2004, p. 29).It's the sadly well-founded doubt that resource development helps more than hurts impoverished countries.The proposal to quit funding oil work is bad enough, although it probably won't affect much. International oil projects have funding sources other than the World Bank and its affiliates.The problem with it is that, if implemented, the oil ban would give World Bank approval to energy selection by governmental bodies. Markets should do that.The EIR, led by Emil Salim, a former ...

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